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Lancaster Criterium

Ups and Downs for Shannon Hutchison-Krupat

I have had a rough couple of weeks as of late.  I had been sick for 2 weeks, finishing up work with a rough class, and then a full on sprint to the airport to catch my Friday night flight back into Dulles.  They lost my bicycle, told me it wouldnít be here until after CSC and then suddenly the bike had arrived via Delta airlines instead of United. Unfortunately, I didnít get a spin in on Friday.  All that said CSC didnít go so hot and I was hoping to gain my legs back for the inaugural Lancaster criterium.

In the past, Lancaster has always been a pro menís race.  There is still the pro menís circuit race in the afternoon, but this year they added a womenís criterium before the big event.  I guess that you could say that we opened for the menís event.  Catherine says that we are eye candy for the crowds until the menís race. 

We had added a couple of heavy hitters to the team for these next 3 races (The Triple Crown).  New for today are two girls from the European peleton.   Helen Kelly who rides for the Austrian Team Elk Haus and Annette Beutler who rides for the powerhouse Dutch Buitenpoort cycling team.  I am stoked to have them be our guest riders.  

The pace was fast and roads were bumpy.  The road wear from the trucks made me a little nervous, especially going into turn three.  There were several breaks and splits in the field.  It didnít surprise me that Annette was in the first break.  The field stretched out and Ina brought things back only to have Helen go up the road with a group of seven.  They stayed a consistent 20 seconds in front of us and I could see that they were kind of sitting and looking at each other to see who was going to do some work.  Then Helen attacked them and she got a gap.  Nobody wanted to chase her and the gap grew a little.  Laura Van Gilder tried to bridge, but brought the entire break up to her as both Colavita girls fell off the pace.  I thought that the group might stick, but eventually it came back and we were down to 4 to go.  My legs were finally feeling good and it was time to start setting it up for the final sprint.  3 to go and I tried to cut on the inside on turn one.  Van Gilder cut it close and I tagged the barrier pole.  OUCH!  I shook my arm.  It was numb.  Can I sprint?  Can I grab my handlebars?  I will be fine I told myself.  Go!  1 to go and Candice came in front of me.  I am here I told her.  Down the backstretch we were on the outside and Tina looked around and started yelling for Gina.  Girls started going on the left and right.  I had to move fast.  I tucked onto a wheel to my left and was probably sitting about 10th wheel.  Out of the last turn I waited a little to long.  Ina jumped and then we all jumped.  I passed a couple of girls and I ended up 5th and Annette was 8th.



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